Spring in Sarajevo

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Lewis Carroll

Ilidža, Sarajevo (this morning)

So much for escapism

After lunch I went to check Andrey Konchalovsky”s Paradise. This is an incredibly beautiful and intelligent movie about confronting extreme evil and dangerous ideas of a paradise that only exists at the expense of someone else’s living hell. 

I walked to my car and Brahms is still echoing in my mind. It takes me a minute or so to realize that the back window was smashed. Nothing stolen. Just petty vandalism or someone got interrupted. And this is, of course, nothing. But, it did work in bringing me down to earth and reality does have a way of making me feel extremely upset.

Now I’m home trying to convince myself I need to start packaging for Sarajevo and this is a place I have never been and the TV memories it evokes, make Konchalosky’s words about his own movie all the more important and, unfortunately, also inconsequential.

‘History is full of great tragedies, most of which remain in our minds as ancient misdeeds that couldn’t possibly be replicated in the present day. One of the most terrifying moments of our generation’s history was the rise of the Nazi party and the extermination of millions of Jews and others who did not fit into the Nazi ideal of a ‘perfect’ German ‘paradise’. These atrocities exposed the depths of mankind’s capabilities for evil and although these events happened in the past, the same kind of radical and hateful thinking is apparent today and threatening the lives and safety of many around the world. 

‘Paradise’ reflects on a twentieth century filled with great illusions buried in ruins, the dangers of hateful rhetoric and the need for mankind to use the power of love to triumph over evil. 

‘That which has happened is a warning. It must be continually remembered. It was possible for this to happen, and it remains possible for it to happen again at any minute. Only in knowledge can it be prevented. The danger here is in the unwillingness to know, the urge to forget, and the disbelief that all of this actually happened…’ The words of German philosopher Karl Jaspers are tied strongly to the central theme of ‘Paradise’, which urges us not to forget the truths of history, no matter how horrifying or inconvenient, so that we do not repeat them’.



Movie Inspiration of the Week – Easter parade (1948)

Costume Designers:

Irene Lentz (women)

Arlington Valles (men)

This is a somewhat obvious choice for this week because it’s Easter. Around here we do not have “Easter Parades” and there’s no tradition of Easter bonnets (which is an absolute shame). I wished we had imported this instead of Halloween. We do keep the tradition of wearing brand new clothes as a symbol of renewal and probably of remembrance of  “fast-fashion free” times. Despite the lure of new clothes and chocolate eggs, I never liked Easter, I’ve never thought about it as a time of joy. I blame this on the nuns at school and the suffocating weight of tradition in Catholic countries.

reddress

Easter Parade is not one of the movies shown around here on TV during Easter break, most probably because in this case Easter just serves as a context and not as a theme. Trumpeted as the “happiest musical ever made”, even if its making seems to have involved quite a lot of suffering and unhappiness), this is the perfect antidote for whatever gloomy feelings I might nurture for Easter. There are 17 Irving Berlin songs, in this movie, stunning dance routines, and a world “in which, it seems, no man leaves the house without top hat and tails; all the women, meanwhile, swan around in fabulous gowns and fantastical Easter bonnets.”

ann

There is Ann Miller playing Nadine ( I couldn’t help myself) who matches her outfits to her dogs (or probably the other way around).

parade

And there is, of course, Fred Astaire!

I’m choosing escapism for Easter!

References and Photos

Easter Parade (1948)

Must-have movie: Easter Parade (1948)

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